12/04/2010 archive

Random Japan


A senior citizen trying to steal coins from a donation box at a shrine in Tokushima fell and hit his head while attempting to flee the scene. He later claimed his six stitches were “punishment from God.”

A 35-year-old Japanese man was caught at the airport in Bali with 6kg of hash. Apparently, he recently served time in an Indian prison for a similar offense, and now faces the death penalty under Indonesian law.

The 19-year-old son of an American soldier stationed in Japan was found guilty of seriously injuring a 24-year-old Tokyo woman by stringing a rope across a roadway in 2009, causing her to fall off her scooter “just for laughs.” Three other American kids involved got off without charge.

Three Tokyo teens, meanwhile, were arrested for breaking into a couple of cars using a method they had learned on YouTube.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Turkey: Not Just for Thanksgiving


Turkey Tacos With Green Salsa

Turkey and Rice Casserole With Yogurt Topping

Turkey and Wild Rice Salad

Risotto With Turkey, Mushrooms and Peas

Turkey and Mizuna Salad

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

John Nichols: After Deficit Panel Deadlock, Progressives Must Promote the Alternative to Austerity

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform failed to produce a mandate for assaulting Social Security, undermining Medicare and Medicaid and generally balancing the budget on the backs of working Americans.

But that hasn’t stopped its co-chairmen from claiming a sort of victory for their plan to make Main Street pay for Wall Street’s failures.

Their goal is obvious. Commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles want to spin a win they did not achieve in order to foster the false impression that their ominously titled ” Moment of Truth” proposal is the only real alternative to fiscal ruin. That’s not the case. There are better proposals-such as the detailed to austerity outlined by commission member Jan Schakowsky. But this is a critical juncture, and progressives need to be conscious that an effort will be made to narrow the range of options and impose key elements of a bad plan that failed to gain required support.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: A Real Jaw Dropper at the Federal Reserve

At a Senate Budget Committee hearing in 2009, I asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to tell the American people the names of the financial institutions that received an unprecedented backdoor bailout from the Federal Reserve, how much they received, and the exact terms of this assistance. He refused. A year and a half later, as a result of an amendment that I was able to include in the Wall Street reform bill, we have begun to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed, and the American people now have this information.

It is unfortunate that it took this long, and it is a shame that the biggest banks in America and Mr. Bernanke fought to keep this secret from the American public every step of the way. But, the details on this bailout are now on the Federal Reserve’s website, and this is a major victory for the American taxpayer and for transparency in government.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Why I Voted Against the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Plan

While I cannot support the Simpson-Bowles plan, I thank the co-chairmen for their dedication to our difficult task over the last eight months, and I agree with them that the work was constructive despite our inability to get fourteen votes.

I offered my own plan to achieve the goal outlined by the President to achieve primary budget balance by 2015 with one very different assumption. I believe that we can do it without further eroding the middle class in America.

It pays to remember that just 10 years ago we had a budget surplus and the debt was rapidly decreasing. During the Bush years, those surpluses disappeared and huge debt accumulated due to two unfunded wars, two unfunded tax cuts that mainly enriched the already wealthy, and a blind eye to the recklessness of Wall Street which caused 8 million Americans to lose their jobs and millions more to lose their savings, the value of their homes and the homes themselves.

On This Day in History: December 4

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 4 is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 27 days remaining until the end of the year

On this day in 1783, future President George Washington, then commanding general of the Continental Army, summons his military officers to Fraunces Tavern in New York City to inform them that he will be resigning his commission and returning to civilian life.

Washington had led the army through six long years of war against the British before the American forces finally prevailed at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. There, Washington received the formal surrender of British General Lord Charles Cornwallis, effectively ending the Revolutionary War, although it took almost two more years to conclude a peace treaty and slightly longer for all British troops to leave New York.

Fraunces Tavern is a tavern, restaurant and museum housed in a conjectural reconstruction of a building that played a prominent role in pre-Revolution and Revolution history. The building, located at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street, has been owned by Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc. since 1904, which claims it is Manhattan’s oldest surviving building. The building is a tourist site and a part of the American Whiskey Trail and the New York Freedom Trail.

Revolution history

In August 1775, Americans took possession of cannons from the artillery battery at the southern point of Manhattan and fired on the HMS Asia. The British ship retaliated by firing a 32-gun broadside on the city, sending a cannonball through the roof of the building.

When the war was all but won, the building was the site of “British-American Board of Inquiry” meetings, which negotiated to ensure to American leaders that no “American property” (meaning former slaves who were emancipated by the British for their military service) be allowed to leave with British troops. Board members reviewed the evidence and testimonies that were given by freed slaves every Wednesday from April to November 1783, and British representatives were successful in ensuring that almost all of the loyalist blacks of New York maintained their liberty.

After British troops evacuated New York, the tavern hosted an elaborate “turtle feast” dinner on December 4, 1783 in the building’s Long Room for U.S. Gen. George Washington where he bade farewell to his officers of the Continental Army by saying “[w]ith a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”

The building housed some offices of the Confederation Congress as the nation struggled under the Articles of Confederation. With the establishment of the U.S. Constitution and the inauguration of Washington as president in 1789, the departments of Foreign Affairs, Treasury and War located offices at the building. The offices were vacated when the location of the U.S. capital moved on December 6, 1790 from New York to Philadelphia.

Morning Shinbun Saturday December 4

Saturday’s Headlines:

Cancún climate talks in danger of collapse over Kyoto continuation


A Silicon Bubble Shows Signs Of Reinflating

After stimulus, construction industry seeing private-sector and state projects drying up


Military steps in after Spanish air traffic controllers stage walkout

Down Pompeii? The ruin of Italy’s cultural heritage

Middle East

Firefighters battle to halt blaze in Israel

Dirty tricks and sticky bombs in Iran


Islamists fight efforts to save ‘blasphemer’

37 years after escaping killing fields, a Cambodian returns as US Navy commander


Zimbabwe not stable enough for IMF

Fury at Ivorian election reversal

Democrats try to regain balance in fight over tax cuts

Emboldened Republicans seem unlikely to back down on extending breaks for wealthy taxpayers.

By Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington

Reporting from Washington – Congressional Democrats searched for leverage Friday in their bitter debate with Republicans over extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts, lashing out against giving “tax breaks to millionaires” and preparing for a rare weekend session in the Senate on the issue.

But the increasingly aggressive Democratic posture may come too late in the protracted battle over the fate of tax cuts that are set to expire Dec. 31. The White House has indicated it would consider an agreement with Republicans to temporarily extend all tax breaks, even for households earning more than $250,000 annually, if the GOP agreed to concessions and withdrew its block on certain Democratic priorities.ties.

What’s Cooking: Potato Latkes

It isn’t Hanukkah without Potato Latkes, those wonderful, crispy pancakes of shredded potato and onion served with apple sauce. It’s lot easier than when I was growing up in the 50’s. Back then we had to shred them with a metal grater that often resulted in some shredded knuckles, too. Food processors have saved a lot of knuckles and teary eye from shredding the onion.

This recipe is really simple. The trick to getting latkes that hold together and aren’t “oily” is the  potato. Idaho’s win, hands down.

Traditionally, according to kosher law, when latkes are served with a fish meal they are fried in oil and served with sour cream. If they are served with meat, they are fried in chicken fat and served with apple sauce. Since, I haven’t kept a kosher kitchen in over 40 years, I fry the latkes in oil and serve both apple sauce and sour cream.

Because this recipe has no flour or egg, the latkes are more delicate and lacy. These are best served when they are fresh from the pan, so, we take turns making them all during the meal. It can actually be fun.

Pure Potato Latkes

* 4 large Idaho potatoes, about 2 1/4 lbs.

* 1 large onion, peeled

* 1/2 teaspoon of salt

* 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

* 1/4 cup canola oil

In a food processor with a coarse shredding disc or o the large shredding hole of a hand grater, shred the potatoes. Squeeze them well to rid them of as much water as possible and place them in a bowl. I use a cotton dish towel to squeeze the water out. it gets them really dry. Shred the onion and add to the bowl. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well. More water will be exuded and should be squeezed and drained thoroughly.

In a large heavy frying pan (a 12 inch iron pan works best), over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons until a slight haze appears on the surace of the oil. Drop about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the oil, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon Leave a little pace between the pancakes for ease in turning. They should be about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and will flatten as they cook.

Cook about 7 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Flip and cook another 5 to 7 minutes or until the other side is golden brown. If the oil starts smoking or the latkes brown too quickly, reduce the heat and briefly remove the pan from the heat. Remove the latkes and drain on layers of paper towels Continue with remaining mixture adding 2 tablespoons of oil with each batch.

Serve with apple sauce and sour cream.

Bon Appetite

Popular Culture 20101203: The Old Language

Many of you who read my posts on a regular basis know that I was born and raised in Hackett, Arkansas.  Hackett is about nine miles south of Fort Smith, and just about a mile from the Oklahoma border.  Many people are of the mistaken opinion that the hill country of Arkansas are all Ozarks, but that is not right.

There are actually two major hill ranges in Arkansas, the Ozarks and the Ouachita (pronounced wash’-a-tah) Mountains.  These two ranges are quite different both in geology and in the old language.  The Arkansas River is roughly the dividing feature betwixt the two ranges.  You might know the Ouachitas because of the excellent natural sharpening stones that are quarried there.

Prime Time

I’m tired of even pretending to care about broadcast.  You usual Friday night switchover to Prison Porn on MSNBC.  At least we’re spared O’Donnell.  Other items of interest-


Dave in repeats (11/11).

“Forget about it” is like if you agree with someone, you know, like Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass, forget about it. But then, if you disagree, like A Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? Forget about it! you know? But then, it’s also like if something’s the greatest thing in the world, like mingia those peppers, forget about it. But it’s also like saying Go to hell! too. Like, you know, like “Hey Paulie, you got a one inch pecker?” and Paulie says “Forget about it!” Sometimes it just means forget about it.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 WikiLeaks arrest looms as site fights to stay online

by Danny Kemp, AFP

1 hr 16 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – WikiLeaks faced growing pressure Friday as its founder Julian Assange dealt with a new arrest warrant and death threats, while the website hopped around the globe trying to evade efforts to shut it down.

As the fallout grew from its release of secret US diplomatic cables, the whistleblower site found new domain names in a string of European countries after its original wikileaks.org address was shut down by an American provider.

The elusive Assange, who is believed to be in hiding in Britain, faced fresh trouble as Swedish prosecutors sent out a new international arrest warrant for the 39-year-old Australian over sex assault allegations.